Cypriot and Greek Defence Ministers discuss Turkey’s “foreign policy”

Greece’s National Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis was on Wednesday received by Cyprus’ President Nikos Anastasiades in Nicosia, where they exchanged views “on the turbulent situation caused by Turkey and the violation of international law, and the legitimate rights of the Republic of Cyprus,” said a Greek ministry statement.

Apostolakis then met his Cypriot counterpart Savvas Angelides, in the context of the 5th Cyprus-Greece Intergovernmental Summit and both ministers highlighted the trilateral collaborations of Cyprus and Greece with Israel and Egypt as crucial in developing a “dynamic that reinforces security and stability in the wider region of common interests.”

The issue of “Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ,” as the statement said, was discussed at both meetings. “Turkey is constantly seeking to bring about destabilization,” Angelides underlined, and stressed that “our composure cannot be taken as a weakness,” and clarified that “the Republic of Cyprus continues its energy program without further delay.”

Angelides also noted the support of the European Union and other countries like Greece, the US, France, Russia, Egypt, “which speak for themselves,” and called for a collective response by the EU going forward.

The Greek Defense Minister Apostolakis said that although Cyprus and Greece are neighbors at the heart of a region of geopolitical and geoeconomic challenges, “we always seek peace and stability, but at the same time we vigorously defend our sovereign rights,” and asserted that “our goal is to serve peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region, through internationally recognized principles and international law.”